Image Comics announced yesterday that, after an absence of 18 years, legendary comics creator Matt Wagner is returning to arguably his most famous creation, Mage. The new series, Mage: The Hero Denied, kicks off with July’s issue #0, and will comprise 15 issues intended to wrap up the epic storyline.
Mage tells the story of Kevin Matchstick, who discovers that he possesses magical abilities and a mystical baseball bat after encountering a wizard named Mirth. The character’s first series, “The Hero Discovered,” was an independent title that ran from 1984-1986, followed by Matchstick’s 1988 appearance in a back-up feature in “Grendel,” Wagner’s other signature independent creation. Mage didn’t return until 1997, when Image Comics published the second instalment, The Hero Defined. This series ran until 1999, and the character hasn’t returned in his own title until now.
Mage gained fans with its anti-authoritarian, alienated protagonist, strong connection to legends, myths and folklore that Wagner updated in interesting ways, and the title’s propensity for drawing upon rich literary sources (chapter titles for each series are drawn from lines from “Hamlet” and “Macbeth”, respectively).
Wagner had this to say about returning to Mage, “The Hero’s journey can be long and arduous… but returning to the world of Mage always feels incredibly empowering…I’m really excited to finally be presenting this dramatic conclusion to the epic tales of Kevin Matchstick… and his third Mage.”
Mage #0 hits stores July 12, 2017, with #1 being released the following week, on July 24th.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
The highly anticipated third and final story arc
THE HERO DENIED launches this July
PORTLAND, OR, 05/24/2017 — Legendary creator and indy-comics pioneer Matt Wagner returns to bring fans the highly anticipated third and final story arc to MAGE from Image Comics this summer. MAGE: THE HERO DENIED will kickoff with the intro-sized issue #0 in July and carry on as a regular, 15-issue series beginning with THE HERO DENIED #1 this August.
This long-awaited conclusion to the epic fantasy trilogy MAGE follows the adventures of the reluctant everyman hero Kevin Matchstick who—after encountering a shaggy and beguiling wizard—discovers he is the reincarnation of the legendary Pendragon and able to wield the power of the mystical weapon, Excalibur.
“The Hero’s journey can be long and arduous… but returning to the world of Mage always feels incredibly empowering,” said Wagner. “I’m really excited to finally be presenting this dramatic conclusion to the epic tales of Kevin Matchstick… and his third Mage.”
MAGE #0 (Diamond Code MAY170639) will hit stores on Wednesday, July 12th at the introductory price of $1.99. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, June 19th.
For fans new to MAGE, a reprint of the MAGE, VOL. 1 trade paperback (Diamond Code MAY170640) will also be available on Wednesday, July 12th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, June 5th.
MAGE #1 (Diamond Code JUN170617) will hit stores on Wednesday, July 24th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, August 16th.